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Thread: Fighting Animal Exploitation/Cruelty

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    Fighting Animal Exploitation/Cruelty



    This thread is being created to highlight some of the actions taken on behalf of animals. It will discuss specific actions that have helped to end/lessen abuse of animals in industry or regulate it. Those actions may be legislative or Direct Action such as infiltration of industries by activists or other actions (sabotage/destruction of property/intimidation) that have had an impact.

    For the most part, anyone who takes the time to send off an e-mail or letter, or even just to take the time to voice disgust at a cruel act, could be considered an activist. I think we are all activists in some ways. It is just a matter of degree to which we are willing to go.

    In the world of animal activism there are two kinds of activists which rise above the average citizen which may be inclined to just only voice outrage. The two kinds of activists that jump into the fray to lend their time and recourses are usualy either Animal Rightists (ARists) or Animal Welfarists (AWists).

    AWists usually go the legislative or protesting/picketing/boycotting routes in getting actions such as prosecution to animal abusers or new laws done for or enacted for animals.

    ARists, while often doing the same things as AWists, are also more inclined to not reject and to partake in Direct Action (DA) -- but not always. Even some ARists will not get involved in DA that includes those activities that break the law.


    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
    --Albert Einstein

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    One of the earliest Direct Actions (DA) done by ARists that helped jump start the DA movement was the case of the Silver Springs Monkeys. In 1981 Alex Pachedo, infiltrated the laboratories overseen by Dr. Edward Taub of Maryland University, whose research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Taub was surgically paralysing animals in order to find treatment for paralysis. The disturbing methods and activities were videotaped and when this video was made known to the Maryland State prosecuter`s office, it resulted in the first ever charge of any researcher facing a criminal court hearing of animal cruelty. Multiple counts were brought against him and he was convicted on one count of cruelty against primates. Later it was overturned due to a technicality in the state law. However, the state legislature the following year moved quickly to close that loophole.

    This case is what launched PETA on the national level. Mr. Pacheco delivered the video to PETA and then PETA had it sent to the prosecuterfs office where it was used to formalize charges. The National Institute of Health, under pressure from politicians and the public, after segments of the video were released to the media, also cuts off all funding to Taub`s laboratory -- another first. This success emboldened activists and gave them reason to believe that Direct Action was a viable option as a tool in targeting those who exploit animals.

    While not totally succussful, the movment to act forcefully and strongly, employing methods used by undercover journalists, proves successful, strengthens, and firmly establishes PETA`s presence in the AR movment.

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    For years activists have been harrying University of California San Francisco (UCSF) with demonstrations and law suits over the treatment of animals in their research facilities. Finally, the USDA took them to court over their violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act. Rather than going to court where all their activities and violations would be brought out in the open, in 2005 they agreed to pay the USDA fine of $92,000 -- the largest fine ever imposed upon any university animal research activity.

    Years of determined and focused activism on the University by dedicated activists and continued pressure on the USDA to not let these abuses go unpunished resulted in this success. It put all university labs on notice that they are under scrutiny and they could be next. One of the leading animal rights group leading the charge against UCSF, In Defense of Animals (IDA), are not letting up on the university and are keeping their protests going to continue highlighting the horrendous things done to animals in this lab as well as other labs.

    It is nice to know that university branches of SETA (Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have ears and eyes prying into the laboratory corners and hallways of the universities across the nation -- always ready to expose those who think they are hidden and protected by tenure and their smug white lab coats. SETA gives a call and the activists come pouring in.

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    After 15 years of intense pressure by activists against fur farms, Britain in 2003 became a non-fur producing country by law. The vote to end fur farming in Britain passed in the Parliament by 303 to 27, ushering in The Fur Farming Prohibition Act.

    Elliot Morley, Parliamentary Secrectary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said, g"We are introducing the Bill because fur farming is a moral issue; opposition to such farming is based on morality, .... The fur farming industry does not provide for basic needs and does not justify the killing of an animal. In a modern society, fur farming has no justification in terms of need."

    The fight to ban fur farming in Britain was lead by the Animal Rights group gRespect for Animals.h

    Victory lurches forward! Onward toward Animal Liberation!

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    Umm...Why did you say all in that 4 posts? The high-lighting and underlining of half of what you say makes it difficult to read what you are trying to type .

    So...
    Have there been any ways in which you have changed the way you live or what you consume in light of all this? Do you donate money to animal charitys or anything? Wear leather shoes/clothes or eat mcdonalds?
    Personally i think you are going a bit too "greenpeace" on all this, but thats just my opinion .
    Im no greenpeace supporter but i do care alot on animal rights and supporting the enviroment and wildlife and stuff, but i dont entirely agree with your perspective as i dont think you are looking at the whole picture enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    Umm...Why did you say all in that 4 posts? The high-lighting and underlining of half of what you say makes it difficult to read what you are trying to type
    Shorter posts are more apt to be read. Highlighting, while it made it difficult for you, stresses some points that I wished to stand out.

    So...
    Have there been any ways in which you have changed the way you live or what you consume in light of all this?
    Yes. I have become an activist after learning about the many abuses animals are faced with and the miserable lives they are forced to live.

    Do you donate money to animal charitys or anything?
    Yes. I also volunteer my time.

    Wear leather shoes/clothes or eat mcdonalds?
    No, no, and no.

    Personally i think you are going a bit too "greenpeace" on all this, but thats just my opinion.
    Well, there are different degrees of involvement for all activists. However, I am not sure by what you mean by "too Greenpeace" and how my postings relate to that term.

    Im no greenpeace supporter but i do care alot on animal rights and supporting the enviroment and wildlife and stuff,...
    How much do you care? Do you mean just talking about it? What does your care involve?

    but i dont entirely agree with your perspective as i dont think you are looking at the whole picture enough.
    Many in the AR/AW Movement don`t agree with each other. The important thing is that those who feel strongly about the point of abuse that animals suffer that move them, roll up their sleeves and get active on that point in trying to abolish it.

    Since you said you "care a lot on animal rights," what has that "care" caused you to take action on and increase the numbers of people to help you affect change on the points that bother you as it pertains to animal suffering? I am interested to hear your experiences and actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    Shorter posts are more apt to be read. Highlighting, while it made it difficult for you, stresses some points that I wished to stand out.
    Yes. I have become an activist after learning about the many abuses animals are faced with and the miserable lives they are forced to live.
    Yes. I also volunteer my time.
    No, no, and no.
    Well, there are different degrees of involvement for all activists. However, I am not sure by what you mean by "too Greenpeace" and how my postings relate to that term.
    How much do you care? Do you mean just talking about it? What does your care involve?
    Many in the AR/AW Movement don`t agree with each other. The important thing is that those who feel strongly about the point of abuse that animals suffer that move them, roll up their sleeves and get active on that point in trying to abolish it.
    Since you said you "care a lot on animal rights," what has that "care" caused you to take action on and increase the numbers of people to help you affect change on the points that bother you as it pertains to animal suffering? I am interested to hear your experiences and actions.

    I had an awareness of the enviroment and its wildlife from a very young of my own accord, i guess it started with the tree planting.
    Over a 6yr period i planted 10,000+ trees.
    I donated a large amount of money to various wildlife charitys over time and i make an effort to make people aware of the cruelty of battery farming- the same goes for whenever i get into a debate about a particular animal species, i make an effort to see both sides of the debate whatever the discussion.
    I've changed my life a great deal over the years concerning the foods i consume, i do not eat battery/intensive/0 grazing etc farmed foods at all but i do eat meat if i get the oppotunity to get hold of organic free range animal products- i also do my best to avoid foods that have had pesticide use etc.

    I guess you could say that most of my interests/concerns are about the welfare of the enviroment/ecosystems/wildlife and that animals are raised in a morally correct way and humanely killed.
    When i said you appear "too greenpeace", i was indicating the commonly held notion about about many animal activists, that although in motive they are for a good cause, they go about it in the wrong/not the best of ways and/or do not properly try to take time to properly consider other peoples opinions- through your entire thread so far you have not shown any consideration to the other side of the coin of some of the controversal topics you mentioned nor thoroughly explained to any agree how you came to your conclusions or opinions, even if how you came to them may seem obvious at first glance- you seem to be on a mission to convert as many people to your opinion without giving them a chance to consider.
    I feel that if you want to simply discuss these topics, you should enter your conversation less agressively- if you are on a mission to convert people to your opinions, you shouldn't even enter discussion with this motive. You should give people the facts, commonly held notions and as many sides to your opinion as you can to help them make up their own minds- if you are right, they will freely take up your opinions/way of thought or at least understand where you are coming from and not label you as another fool-hardy or extreme animal activist etc.

    These are simply my own opinions, so dont take them too seriously .

    Anyhoo...Time for for some positive discussion, i hope !
    Tell me in your opinions, for example, why you believe fur farming was/is wrong?

    ps: doing multiple posts does not make easier reading, thats what paragraphs and the such like are for :) .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    When i said you appear "too greenpeace", i was indicating the commonly held notion about about many animal activists, that although in motive they are for a good cause, they go about it in the wrong/not the best of ways and/or do not properly try to take time to properly consider other peoples opinions-
    I have already considered them on my own and have rejected them. I am not here to put the other side up for them. If they or someone wants to put their point across and defend it, they are more than welcome to do so.

    As for going about animal rights activism in the "wrong/not best of ways" I say there are a variety of approaches. Neither is wrong and some ways resonate better with different people. Some of the strongest actions that have resulted in successes for alleviating suffering of animals have been carried out by activists with a very strong approach. I will not diminish their impact for affecting change.

    ...through your entire thread so far you have not shown any consideration to the other side of the coin of some of the controversal topics you mentioned...
    I am not on the fence. The other side can do just fine explaining their side if they so wish.

    ...nor thoroughly explained to any agree how you came to your conclusions or opinions, even if how you came to them may seem obvious at first glance-
    Well, no one has asked. But, if that is an invitation for me to do so, I can simply say I came to my decision that animals are deserving of rights of protection after over a period of time of being bombarded with images of their suffering/exploitation via TV, newspapers, books, internet and personal experiences in my daily life. Pain is not a state that any feeling being wishes to experience. We all move away from the source of it if given a chance. If I have the choice to alleviate it through some action of mine, I see no reason to withhold that action.

    ...you seem to be on a mission to convert as many people to your opinion without giving them a chance to consider.
    What is wrong with being on a "mission?" Most, if not all movements that have alleviated oppression and tyrany and gained rights have had an army of activists who could be considered being on a mission. "Mission" is not a dirty word or one to be embarrassed of.

    What do you mean by the underlined above? Do you mean: a)consider the reasons for the mission? or b) the chance to consider the option of continuing the exploitation?

    a. I think it is quite obvious. To not cause pain and suffering to animals through oppresion, exploitation and commodifying them. Most know that ARists are against exploitation of animals so I didn`t think that needed to be stated. Perhaps I am wrong since maybe you aren`t clear as to why I or other ARists are for Animal Rights.

    b. I am not going to put forth their reasons to continue exploitation. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers don`t put forth the reasons why people should consider driving while drinking. Civil Rights Activists don`t put for the reasons why people should continue racial discrimination.

    I feel that if you want to simply discuss these topics, you should enter your conversation less agressively- if you are on a mission to convert people to your opinions, you shouldn't even enter discussion with this motive. You should give people the facts, commonly held notions and as many sides to your opinion as you can to help them make up their own minds- if you are right, they will freely take up your opinions/way of thought or at least understand where you are coming from and not label you as another fool-hardy or extreme animal activist etc.
    These are simply my own opinions, so dont take them too seriously.
    Not taken personally -- but those opinions in my opinion are myopic as to the various ways that exist and some ways appeal to others that other ways would not. I for example, before getting active, was moved into activism by the more direct approach and hence that has been my way. I am sure I am not unique and I know many in the AR movement that have come to the movement after strong approaches to them. But, there are those who also prefer the softer approach. I wouldn`t rule either out.

    Anyhoo...Time for for some positive discussion, i hope!
    Yes, it is. First, TP, I am wondering why you said you cared about animal rights. Are you an animal rightist? I think you fall more into the category of Animal Welfarist. If you are an AW, then we will definitely have some differing of opinions on the treatment of animals between us. If you are an ARist, then our differences may be very small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    Tell me in your opinions, for example, why you believe fur farming was/is wrong?
    I believe fur farming wrong because it is not necessary to have fur to stay warm. To cause an animal pain and suffering for mere fashion is ethically wrong. Pain and suffering is a state we can understand. We move away from it and avoid it if we can. Fur bearing animals do, too. I wouldn`t want that inflicted on me, therefore I see no reason why that should be inflicted on another being since humans have the ability to empathise.

    Besides that, seeing animals in fur farms are raised in hurendous conditions living in wire mesh cages mostly without bedding and cleaning. Often they are exposed to extreme temperatures. They are usually not given medical care when they are sick. They experiene stereotypical repetitive behavior of pacing and circling due to a life of boredom and no enrichment. It is a living hell for them.

    ps: doing multiple posts does not make easier reading, thats what paragraphs and the such like are for
    I disagree. I am more apt to read a series of shorter posts, even if it is a continuation by one person, than a long one. I am sure there are some who agree with you and with me. Let`s let the mechanics of our posting style not be a part of the discussion. If you want to discuss this, then go ahead and make a separate thread for it in "opinions" or PM me about it. I think posting style discussions are rather boring and not many care about them.

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    As for going about animal rights activism in the "wrong/not best of ways" I say there are a variety of approaches. Neither is wrong and some ways resonate better with different people. Some of the strongest actions that have resulted in successes for alleviating suffering of animals have been carried out by activists with a very strong approach. I will not diminish their impact for affecting change.
    I really don't mind animal activists protesting. I consume as I will and will continue to do so until I determine my own actions to be incorrect. That said, I'm curious to know your thoughts on a couple of things I've thought about.

    -Do you think there's a certain line ARists should draw in terms of how far they're willing to go?
    -I know heated and sometimes violent actions draw more attention, and sometimes get results quicker, but is there any perception within the AR community of an increasing number of strong proponents of the opposite viewpoint?
    -Is there any concern within said AR community that their actions, while getting the quick results, are in fact harming their cause in the long term by creating powerful enemies both extreme and moderate, particulalry because of their supposed lack of regard for people in those industries?

    I've had discussions/debates with ARists on different web forums and was just wondering where you stood in relation to them. I am of the opinion that much of the Animal Rights/Welfare debate results in ad hominem attacks and baseless accusations on both sides. In addition, the AR community in Los Angeles successfully pressure Mayor Antonion Villaragosa to remove the Animal Services GM. The issue affects me personally because a certain AR group made bomb threats to the Animal Services building that my friend works at.
    Go Trojans

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    Hi MeAndRoo,

    Good post above. Good questions. If you don`t mind, I will get to them within the next 24 hours. I think my on-line time has come to an end for today. Check back soon and I will have a reply up.

    Welcome to the discussion. -- SVF

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    I believe fur farming wrong because it is not necessary to have fur to stay warm. To cause an animal pain and suffering for mere fashion is ethically wrong. Pain and suffering is a state we can understand. We move away from it and avoid it if we can. Fur bearing animals do, too. I wouldn`t want that inflicted on me, therefore I see no reason why that should be inflicted on another being since humans have the ability to empathise.
    Besides that, seeing animals in fur farms are raised in hurendous conditions living in wire mesh cages mostly without bedding and cleaning. Often they are exposed to extreme temperatures. They are usually not given medical care when they are sick. They experiene stereotypical repetitive behavior of pacing and circling due to a life of boredom and no enrichment. It is a living hell for them.
    I disagree. I am more apt to read a series of shorter posts, even if it is a continuation by one person, than a long one. I am sure there are some who agree with you and with me. Let`s let the mechanics of our posting style not be a part of the discussion. If you want to discuss this, then go ahead and make a separate thread for it in "opinions" or PM me about it. I think posting style discussions are rather boring and not many care about them.
    Yes, sorry i was getting a little off topic there about posting style and the such like, anyhoo .

    I think its wrong to label all fur farms as cruel and evil, thats like saying all bears are agressive and bad tempered.

    "I believe fur farming wrong because it is not necessary to have fur to stay warm."

    Do you believe eating meat is wrong because its often unesarsary? People can live very healthily without eating meat- im just saying that your reasoning/justification of somthing being unesasary means that it shouldn't be done if there's a creatures life at stake.
    Personally i am not against any farming of any sort as long as the animals have their basic needs attended too(enough space, good food, social requirements met etc) and they are humanely killed(i.e not cause a slow death/unesarsary suffering). Plenty of farms do this but there's also a large proportion that dont- the way i see it though you should not label all farms of a particular form of farming as a particular type, because they are never run exactly the same way.

    I always like to think that if you are going to kill an animal for consumption, you should do your best not to waste good parts of the animal if you can. Millions of cattle are killed in the US every year for food consumption, their skins are also sold as a by-product instead of been thrown away. Do you think this form of fur/skin farming is bad?

    Would you have a problem with somone if they wore an antique fur coat?

    By the way, i am neither an animal rightist nor welfarist- i do not like to label myself as i do/say what i see right and dont always nesarsarily fall into any particular catagory.

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    Hi MeAndroo,

    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    I really don't mind animal activists protesting. I consume as I will and will continue to do so until I determine my own actions to be incorrect.
    I was the same. Activists are not born activists. Something moves them and they determine that their purchases are promoting activities that cause suffering. They then change.

    What would move you to change your consumption in order to lessen suffering?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    I'm curious to know your thoughts on a couple of things I've thought about.
    -Do you think there's a certain line ARists should draw in terms of how far they're willing to go?
    I would say that all activists, no matter what they are being active for, should never cross any line that our governement would not cross in the present or had not crossed in the past (if those past actions had never been condemned).

    Why should one group be hobbled by actions for change while another group be given a free license to do as they wish to either make change or keep the status quo that has oppression and tyranny as part of it?

    That is the philosophical/strategic answer based on social realities and history. It is a realistic/realpolitik and practical philosophy. An idealistic philosophy and course of action I don`t think exists or that there has never been one that worked in a vacuum that was successful.

    Now, personally about myself and the way many ARist think -- would I ever resort to arson as a tool to fight animal oppression? Hmmm... it is a tough call but in all probability, "No," -- I wouldn`t.

    The reason being is there are many underground animal liberationists in stealth mode. They are teachers, policemen, housewives, and even firefighters. A fire can be quite dangerous and firefighters risk their lives in putting out those fires. In addition, an arson in a building would also have the possibility of killing mice or stray cats or some other creatures that could be living in the nooks and cranys. Arson is just too uncontrollable to use discriminately -- that is why I would not use it.

    But, I am not saying that ARists should be hobbled from use of a tool if that tool has been used by other orgs, be it private or governmental. But, keep in mind, compared to all other social struggles in history that had ever lasted more than several years or ended in success or failure, the battle for AR has never resulted in one death (if I am wrong please correct me on that) or if it has or has caused some physical injuries, those pale in numbers compare to any other social battles in history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    -I know heated and sometimes violent actions draw more attention, and sometimes get results quicker, but is there any perception within the AR community of an increasing number of strong proponents of the opposite viewpoint?
    Yes, the AR movement is split on the use of strong Direct Action. However, if I were to try and gauge the movement now, I would say that there is a more and more popular trend toward a larger percentage of people in the AR movment who are coming to agree that stronger Direct Action, other than picketing and letter writing is needed.

    There is frustration building in the movement. For years we have been polite by playing by the rules, written letters, protested, visited congressmen and gotten expose`s on TV and very little has come from it. Then all of a sudden a few liberations on fur farms in Great Britain causes fur farms to go out of business and it is like an Eureka moment. Animal oppressors get letters and their place picketed and they just laugh it off and continue doing their bloody business making money off the backs and pains of animals. But, when they are hit financially to the point where they have to withdraw money from their life`s savings to rebuild, they get the point rather quickly and want to be free of the troubles and understand the harsh realities of financial loss. Furthermore, insurance compannies will decide to not insure them. A farm goes belly up after a few liberations but for years it keeps operating when only letters and protests are utilized. What is that telling us? It tells us that money or loss of it is what drives a business and allows it to continue.

    Some say that this is going to turn off the public and cause AR harm by eroding an audience listening to their message. But, the opposite is the reality. More and more people are joining the AR group and since it has been pushed underground because of the embracement of Direct Action techniques, you do find fewer and fewer people speaking up for Animal Rights in public. Why is that?

    Becuase, once a person decides that AR Direct Action is what is best to get results, they go stealth. They will stop talking about their views or support for animal rights to friends or families because they don`t want attention drawn toward them. I would say that the more quiet the AR movement seems to appear on the public level, the more active it is underground. The louder it is above ground with speeches and picketing, the less frustrated the group is and therefore the less Direct Actions planning is being done.

    Also, most ARists who accept Direct Action have usually slid on the spectrum from above ground to below ground. It is usually a gradual process and takes years to happen. For the government, it is in their interest to keep ARists above ground as much as and for as long as possible. For example, it would be disasterous for the U.S. government or any government to deny Peta its tax exempt status and declare it an unlawfull org. That could result in creating 850,000 Direct Action activists over night. That would seriously tax law enforcement in trying to keep tabs on so many who have been forced to go underground. The government should, and probably does reason that since and while all these people are above ground, standing in front of KFC, writing letters, baring their breasts, it is much more preferrable that they channel their energies doing that where they can be watched, rather than them being out of site planning more serious actions.

    In addition, the internet has really accelerated the growth of those in the AR Movement who support Direct Action. No more are people only getting the spin from the media or government. The other side of the story now gets out with no problem. Where as before someone may come to Direct Action after they were in their 20s, they are now coming to it much younger because they have had a lot more information to inform them of it and how to do it.

    But, back to your question -- yes, the sabotaging/monkeywrenching of the infrastructure of animal oppression does get quicker results, but I don`t think it is causing the Movement to weaken. It is strengthening it because those who have been above ground are now sliding over to belowground at a faster rate because they are attracted to the fast results which have been proven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    -Is there any concern within said AR community that their actions, while getting the quick results, are in fact harming their cause in the long term by creating powerful enemies both extreme and moderate, particulalry because of their supposed lack of regard for people in those industries?
    The AR Movement is composed of various people and orgs with different philosophies on strategy. There are the above ground and the below ground.

    Publicly, many above ground orgs will condemn the actions of the below ground groups because they have to do that so that they can continue to keep meeting with politicians and executives and keep getting the public on board with their message. But, if you talk to those in the above ground groups, they will wink their eye and say they know they benefit from the actions of the below ground groups. Why?

    Becuase those Direct Actions done by the below ground group make the above ground groups look moderate and appealing to deal with. The choice is what benefits the above ground group. The above ground groups would be the radicals if the below ground groups did not exist.

    Becuase the above ground groups exist with the below ground groups waiting in the wings, the politicians and corporate heads are eager to talk to the above ground groups because that makes them appear to be taking animal cruelty into consideration.

    AR would suffer a terrible blow if only the aboveground group existed. The aboveground groups know this quite well. They (i.e. the aboveground groups) would then be viewed as the radicals and therefore there would be no real impetus to reach out to them.

    The belowground groups however, would melt away rather quickly if animal exploitation were to stop. They only exist because there is animal cruelty and Direct Action has proven to stop it, slow it, or bring relief to animals when it has been employed on specific targets of industry whose guiding light is the God Profit. If Direct Action was not or has never been successful in thwarting animal abuse/oppression, then it never would have survived as long as it has as a tactic. It would have ceased to have been being employed.

    Every fur farm or lab that closes due to Direct Action only emboldens further action. Ever increasing insurance costs for those industries also embolden activists. The dollar is what is gauged, not only by the oppressors who judge their success on how many dollars they can accumulate, but also by the Direct Actionists who gauge their success on how many dollars they can deny the oppressionists and incur to them as operating costs which put the consumer goods out of further reach from a larger sector of the public that could not pay the higher prices that are past on.

    It could be said to be a battle tactic of employing economics by inflicting costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    I've had discussions/debates with ARists on different web forums and was just wondering where you stood in relation to them.
    Well, I can`t really comment on where I stand with "them," because I haven`t seen those arguments you specifically are talking about or had the chance to engage the person who put forth those arguments. I did however take some time to reply to your questions above. I hope that those replies have been satisfactory (not as a judgement for you to agree or disagree with) for you to get some idea on how I feel about AR, the philosophy and strategy of activists who employ Direct Action.

    I am of the opinion that much of the Animal Rights/Welfare debate results in ad hominem attacks and baseless accusations on both sides.
    I agree. Especially about the "ad hominen" attacks. Often when a person voices support for AR they are quickly asked their views on PETA or ALF and if they put forth the philosophy of those orgs as an explanation for what they are doing, rather than the philosophy or the argument being addressed, they are soon called a terrorist. It is the classical case of attacking the messenger and not the message. I am sure it goes the other way also with ARists slamming the character of those putting forth the reasons to continue exploiting animals.

    In addition, the AR community in Los Angeles successfully pressure Mayor Antonion Villaragosa to remove the Animal Services GM. The issue affects me personally because a certain AR group made bomb threats to the Animal Services building that my friend works at.
    At one time, I was following this story in L.A. I kind of have forgotten the details. I think there were several groups pressuring the mayor. In Defense of Animals (IDA) was one of the aboveground group if my memory is corrrect. Sorry, though, I have forgotten the reason for pressuring his removal so can`t comment on it. If in fact what he was doing was detrimental to animals then I support the action that caused his removal. If his removal was the result of misinformation then I would not support it and am sorry that he was targeted for removal.

    It is a war. In all wars innocence do get caught up between the combatants. However, the impact on innocence when not purposely targeted but are affected, does not detract from the legitimacy of the war. I know that sounds cold and harsh, but one only need to look at history, far past and recent, to see wars which societies see as justified continue eventhough some harm have come to noncombatants. However, that is an issue of mechanics of actions and not the legitimacy of the the war.

    *now I wait for the ad hominem responses from those lurking in on the discusssion. My experience has shown me that they will soon be forthcoming.

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    Hi Tokis-Phoenix,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    I think its wrong to label all fur farms as cruel and evil, thats like saying all bears are agressive and bad tempered.
    Well, we disagree, then, TP. I think exploitation of life which suffers and feels pain or the violation of its autonomy and its will to live is cruel.

    Do you think its wrong to label all slave traders as cruel? I do. I would imagine there are some murderers who attempt to kill their victims painlessly but I would still say that they are cruel for snuffing out a life and denying its possessor the right to have it.

    Your analogy using bears does not match because you have used a part of the bears' natural biology shown by virtually all of them at certain times in their lives to sometimes be aggressive and bad tempered (protecting young, defending territory, prior to hibernation) whereas there is no natural biology of man to suddenly feel a desire/urge to create a fur farm at some point in his/her life.

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    ["I believe fur farming wrong because it is not necessary to have fur to stay warm."] -- SVF

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    Do you believe eating meat is wrong because its often unesarsary? People can live very healthily without eating meat--
    Yes, I believe that when we have a choice to make between not supporting cruelty and suffering and exploitation of life which results in violating the autonomy of life and commodifying it, we should choose the alternative that does not support those things. Why would I not want to choose an alternative if that simple decision which does not harm my life means that a being is not going to suffer or be exploited?

    Personally i am not against any farming of any sort as long as the animals have their basic needs attended too(enough space, good food, social requirements met etc) and they are humanely killed(i.e not cause a slow death/unesarsary suffering). Plenty of farms do this but there's also a large proportion that dont- the way i see it though you should not label all farms of a particular form of farming as a particular type, because they are never run exactly the same way.
    I understand your point. And believe me, if there is animal exploitation, I would prefer all the animals to be treated as well as possible with all their needs met before they are slaughtered. However, for profits to be made and products to be supplied at a price that most consumers are willing to pay, it means that animals must be mass produced and mass confined under conditions that force as much gram per space as possible in one area. If all chickens or even minks were given large areas to roam to satisfy their natural urges, the price per gram would rise substantially. Most farmers want to be more efficient than their rivals so that they can get the larger market of orders. Economics will always force cruel conditions because the customer naturally tends toward the cheaper product.

    Sure, there are anomalies where some customers choose the most expensive brands and some farms do provide large areas for animals because they are focusing on a premium market and upscale customer, but the masses are what drive the system.

    In the end, no matter how much space is given if it were even possible in an ideal world to give large spaces to all animals desitined for consumption and use, I am still against the commodifying of life and the violation of their autonomy which ultimately results in their butchering for a society that does not need that to survive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    I always like to think that if you are going to kill an animal for consumption, you should do your best not to waste good parts of the animal if you can. Millions of cattle are killed in the US every year for food consumption, their skins are also sold as a by-product instead of been thrown away. Do you think this form of fur/skin farming is bad?
    Good point. I`ve sometimes thought about this as well.

    Most leather like you said is by-product and not the actual cause of demand which sent it to the slaughterhouse. If an animal is going to be butchered for whatever reason, I would prefer it all to be used as efficiently as possible.

    As you know though, in the case of mink, fox, sabel, etc... fur farming, the main product is the fur -- not the meat.

    Back to the cows. I do not wear leather products because cows are often skinned alive from not being killed before moving onto the skinning stations before the quartering for meat. I don`t want to be a supporter of an industry whose profits are made of pain and blood.

    Would you have a problem with somone if they wore an antique fur coat?
    Yes. It encourages a fashion of awe to those who are impressed by such consumer luxery things and those persons may feel a desire to copy a friend and place an order for a new fur coat. Nothing exists in a vacuum, you know?

    By the way, i am neither an animal rightist nor welfarist- i do not like to label myself as i do/say what i see right and dont always nesarsarily fall into any particular catagory.
    Ok, I understand. It is just that what you wrote earlier:

    ...i do care alot on animal rights...
    ...made me wonder what part of "animal rights" you cared about or identified with. Those in The Movement usually talk of "Animal Rights" as of having protection from exploitation. Those who talk about having larger cages, more humane killing, etc... are usually referring to "Animal Welfare."

    I know you don`t want to be labeled because you think you don`t fall into any particular category, but you really do (not meant to be insulting) -- you are an Animal Welfarist if you care for the treatment but still feel that animals are for commodifying and use and that protections from exploitation can be bargained away for the benefit of humans.

    Most ARists welcome AWists to do the activism they think they are felt moved to do. We readily admit that our numbers grow from AWists who often move on the spectrum and come over to the AR side. In fact, I was once an AWist but more and more thought on the subject eventually caused me to move. I think that is how it is with 95% of the ARists. Very few people wake up one day and just say, "I am an ARist."

    The birth of an ARist is a gradual and for the most part a slow thing that takes time to come about. Most do start as AWists.

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    So you do not agree with killing animals for food consumption?
    Well wether you like it or not, if people stopped eating animals tomorrow, thousands of species of animals(domesticated or semi domesticated) would go extinct. 'Tis true. Its already an issue that thousands of species of animals, which although most have been reared for hundreds, even thousands of years, are facing because they are no longer been reared by farmers because better animals have been bred that produce more of what the public desires(i.e more meat, more fat, more milk, more wool etc)- people want lower prices for their food you see.
    So by your reasoning, you would be happy is thousands of species of animals went extinct because people no longer ate them?

    Wether you like it or not, in the vast majority of cases, when an animal exceeds its uses for people, they no longer want it or care for its survival.
    Take this article for example, right how hundreds of endangered species of african animals are thriving in america because of hunting programs, you cannot deny the fact though that thousands of the animals that have been bred under this program would no longer exist if they didn't have it;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4689428.stm

    I dont agree with the animal cruelty side of it, but then again if it means drastically increasing the survival of a particular species, im with it. And you cannot deny that animals rarely ever kill other animals humanely by our modern day standards- that lion could be tucking into that zebras stomache before its even had its last breath. Animals kill other animals, and human being been just another animal thats evolved to kill other animals, we kill other animals like any other animal.
    Of course though, we have the ability to do it humanely, and to also raise the animal in a morally correct mannor in the first place, which is what im on about, but otherwise i dont have a problem with killing most animals as long as they are not rare or endangered and have been bred/raised with the intention of being killed.
    For example, although im against many of the aspects of whaling/killing whales, i also dont agree with whaling because the animals are not bred or raised to be killed and we do nothing to support the species by killing them. But for farm animals like many species of cows or pigs for example, their species simply wouldn't exist unlike whales if we no longer had a need to kill them as many species of them would not be able to survive without us if they were in the wild.
    No farmer will want to have a wild herd of uncontrolable cows breaking down fences or mowing through his crops/trees if all they are going to do is inevitably put him into debt if he doesn't seriously reduce their numbers. Its said that a confined species of almost any species of animal needs at least 250 of its kind so it can breed and overcome the serious effects of desease, inbreeding and predators- if you are to have 250 wild cows on your land you will need an incredible amount of spare land for themselves to support themselves on, which the vast majority of farmers do not have.
    So you see what i am saying, if we stopped consuming many of the thousands of semi domesticated/domesticated animals out there, they would simply go extinct? Would you really want to be responable for somthing like that?

    Another example is fox hunting, its very similar to the endangered african animal in america hunting debate. While fox hunting was legal, many farmers encouraged foxs on their land because they had a logical reason too. There many "rules" to fox hunting as far as the farmer was concerned, for example no farmers killed fox's during their breeding and cub raising seasons so there would always be numerous large quantitys of foxs around.
    No the government and animal activists have made fox hunting illegal over here, farmers no longer have a reason to have foxs around, so hundreds of thousand of them are being shot and poisened- overall, despite the animal activist intentions being honorable, they have vastly contributed to the killing of hundreds of thousands of foxs.

    Foxs have far more to fear of cars than the hunter and his dogs. You could also say foxs have far more to fear of animal activists than cars.

    Would you get your drivers liscense and drive a car in the knowledge that you will drastically increase the chances of you running over many species of animals in your car-driving life time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    ...if people stopped eating animals tomorrow, thousands of species of animals(domesticated or semi domesticated) would go extinct.
    Life for the sake of life is worth very little. There is no suffering in extinction and it is not propelled forward to future generations.

    I would rather die than be consigned to an existance of oppression, tyranny, no freedom, misery, suffering, and pain. I think many feel the same.

    Many S./C./N. American Indians died under slavery inflicted upon them by the Spanish Conquistadors. Many slaves from the south risked their lives to escape their chains because they wanted more than just life. Many people of today have DNR orders for their hospitalizations. Many people seek out death when the pain and suffering becomes overwhelming -- sometimes traveling thousands of miles to a place that will let them die in dignity. One of our country`s partriot proclaimed, "give me freedom, or give me death."

    It is not life that is valued. It is the quality of life and all the sum things of our will and urges that come together that make us want to live to experience things that satisfy those urges and desires that our biology seeks to engage in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    Life for the sake of life is worth very little. There is no suffering in extinction and it is not propelled forward to future generations.
    I would rather die than be consigned to an existance of oppression, tyranny, no freedom, misery, suffering, and pain. I think many feel the same.
    Many S./C./N. American Indians died under slavery inflicted upon them by the Spanish Conquistadors. Many slaves from the south risked their lives to escape their chains because they wanted more than just life. Many people of today have DNR orders for their hospitalizations. Many people seek out death when the pain and suffering becomes overwhelming -- sometimes traveling thousands of miles to a place that will let them die in dignity. One of our country`s partriot proclaimed, "give me freedom, or give me death."
    It is not life that is valued. It is the quality of life and all the sum things of our will and urges that come together that make us want to live to experience things that satisfy those urges and desires that our biology seeks to engage in.
    So are you essentially saying that you do not care for the survival of a species, but only wether it lives in comfort or not?

    Then surely, what point is there of fighting for the rights of animal to live a happy life if you inevitably cause its species to go extinct? It will no longer be an animal with rights because it will no longer exist to have them.

    Surely you have not taken into consideration, that most animals would prefer to live, even it it means suffering at certein points of life, rather than to die? The nature of survival and life, is to live. If you call yourself an activist for animal rights, then surely the right to live is the most important right of all to fight for in an animal?
    Did you not take into consideration, that extinction is rarely a pleasant process, and for the last remaining members of a species going extinct, life is often pretty miserable? I think you believe too much in the notion that death is the end to all suffering. It isn't. Life goes on after death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokis-Phoenix
    So are you essentially saying that you do not care for the survival of a species, but only wether it lives in comfort or not?
    Of course I care about the survival of a species. A healthy echo-system is a rewarding one for all. Cows on feedlots, chickens in windowless sheds, mink in small wired mesh cages however, do not interact as part of the echo system. If cows were slowly phased out or mink in mesh cages were not replaced once their supply was exhausted the world`s echo system would not be damaged. In fact, if feed lots were to disappear it could help the environment.

    Then surely, what point is there of fighting for the rights of animal to live a happy life if you inevitably cause its species to go extinct? It will no longer be an animal with rights because it will no longer exist to have them.
    Then you are putting forth the argument that life, even a suffering one purposely caused is one worth living. Is that right? If someone tied you up and took you to a basement to keep you alive for the remaining of your life to milk bile from your prostate or some other oozing thing your body could produce, and kept you in the worse conditions possible, in your own excrement, never seeing the sun, leaving your dental care and any lesions go untreated with no care for your sanity, -- you would prefer that existence for decades rather than the release of death? You would say, "Don`t kill me, I don`t want to die because I care about keeping the numbers of my species up just so that I can rest assured I know we are more numerous than just the person coming to milk my oozing juices from me. Please exploit me and cause me suffering and pain just so my inert existance can proclaim one more number for my species."

    Am I getting you right? Is that what you would want?

    You didn`t address anything I wrote about Indians, slaves, people going to hospitals and all the pain and choices those subgroups have chosen to release themselves from suffering.

    Surely you have not taken into consideration, that most animals would prefer to live, even it it means suffering at certein points of life, rather than to die?
    TP, you have cleverly inserted "certain pionts of life," and not seem to know that mink in farms suffer greatly at most points in their lives, the same with pigs factory produced, the same with chickens factory produced etc... It is not like just one day they have a little pain. They are raised and meat their end in virtually a non-stop world of suffering.

    The nature of survival and life, is to live. If you call yourself an activist for animal rights, then surely the right to live is the most important right of all to fight for in an animal?
    The nature of most animals is to move away from a state of pain. That is the starting point. I doubt any dogs in Korea, if their cages at the food market were to fling open, would refuse to run to freedom thinking that they will insure the survival of their species if they stay in the cage so that they can be eaten and hence keep the market for dog eating alive and hence keep it so that the people will keep making a profit and decide to keep breeding them.

    Did you not take into consideration, that extinction is rarely a pleasant process, and for the last remaining members of a species going extinct, life is often pretty miserable?
    How are you defining "miserable?" Do you mean in a state of pain or just frustrated at not being able to find a mate? Do you have a case study for me to look at that identifies a last animal in a state of "misery?"

    I think you believe too much in the notion that death is the end to all suffering. It isn't. Life goes on after death.
    It is an end to suffering to that one animal that has escaped the source of its suffering. The fact that life goes on after death is a given and just because it does go on does not mean that suffering in life cannot still be addressed.

    Death is not the ONLY way to escape/prevent suffering. It is just the final way. Surely suffering can be prevented by making and passing more animal welfare laws which is what happens. Apparantly many lawmakers agree with me around the world or a good number of animal anti cruelty laws to prevent suffering would have never been passed. It seems that suffering is taken into account by many and the laws are beginning to reflect that. Are you going to deny this? If not, then what is your point? Are you going to say that those efforts at ending suffering should not be happening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    Of course I care about the survival of a species. A healthy echo-system is a rewarding one for all. Cows on feedlots, chickens in windowless sheds, mink in small wired mesh cages however, do not interact as part of the echo system. If cows were slowly phased out or mink in mesh cages were not replaced once their supply was exhausted the world`s echo system would not be damaged. In fact, if feed lots were to disappear it could help the environment.
    Then you are putting forth the argument that life, even a suffering one purposely caused is one worth living. Is that right? If someone tied you up and took you to a basement to keep you alive for the remaining of your life to milk bile from your prostate or some other oozing thing your body could produce, and kept you in the worse conditions possible, in your own excrement, never seeing the sun, leaving your dental care and any lesions go untreated with no care for your sanity, -- you would prefer that existence for decades rather than the release of death? You would say, "Don`t kill me, I don`t want to die because I care about keeping the numbers of my species up just so that I can rest assured I know we are more numerous than just the person coming to milk my oozing juices from me. Please exploit me and cause me suffering and pain just so my inert existance can proclaim one more number for my species."
    Am I getting you right? Is that what you would want?
    You didn`t address anything I wrote about Indians, slaves, people going to hospitals and all the pain and choices those subgroups have chosen to release themselves from suffering.
    TP, you have cleverly inserted "certain pionts of life," and not seem to know that mink in farms suffer greatly at most points in their lives, the same with pigs factory produced, the same with chickens factory produced etc... It is not like just one day they have a little pain. They are raised and meat their end in virtually a non-stop world of suffering.
    The nature of most animals is to move away from a state of pain. That is the starting point. I doubt any dogs in Korea, if their cages at the food market were to fling open, would refuse to run to freedom thinking that they will insure the survival of their species if they stay in the cage so that they can be eaten and hence keep the market for dog eating alive and hence keep it so that the people will keep making a profit and decide to keep breeding them.
    How are you defining "miserable?" Do you mean in a state of pain or just frustrated at not being able to find a mate? Do you have a case study for me to look at that identifies a last animal in a state of "misery?"
    It is an end to suffering to that one animal that has escaped the source of its suffering. The fact that life goes on after death is a given and just because it does go on does not mean that suffering in life cannot still be addressed.
    Death is not the ONLY way to escape/prevent suffering. It is just the final way. Surely suffering can be prevented by making and passing more animal welfare laws which is what happens. Apparantly many lawmakers agree with me around the world or a good number of animal anti cruelty laws to prevent suffering would have never been passed. It seems that suffering is taken into account by many and the laws are beginning to reflect that. Are you going to deny this? If not, then what is your point? Are you going to say that those efforts at ending suffering should not be happening?


    I think you ignore that fact though that many farm animals do not lead such lives of utter misery, life long suffering, and agnosing pain etc.
    From what i gathered your point was that ending all farming/consumption of animals would release all animals from pain etc.
    To begin with, not all farm raised animals live in suffering.
    Secondly, for well treated farm animals its a very idealistic form of life- the animal is removed from the threat and fear of predators, it never has to worry about going hungry, it never dies of desease when it can be treated etc. I think you can somtimes over-rate the wonders of being wild- sure, you have plenty of space, the thats about as good as it gets for most animals in comparsion to well treated farm raised ones.
    The vast majority of animals in the wild do not live anywhere near to their natural life expectancy- many of them starve to death, die of desease/sickness, die while giving birth or get killed competing for a mate, get slaughtered by predaters and die through many other forms of miserable death etc.

    The way i see it, if you want to do your best supporting animals you should not only support local wildlife/animal charitys/conservations, but also help incourage the good management and farming of animals, because when done properly, has many benefets for the animal in question.
    Realistically and not ideally, people are simply never going to stop eating animals, so the best you can do is support good animal husbandry/management/care etc to help incourage more people and farmers to take it up.

    What are your opinions on the africa animal america hunting debate in one of the earlier links i gave you in this thread? My point about the survival and prosperity of a species and the right to live being one of the most important rights of animal is this. Would you rather hunters dont shoot their prized antelope in the head so they can die instantly, but the species as a whole benefets because of the huge interest in financially suporting the hunts so the species can survive, or to stop people hunting these animals so the chances of the species going instinct drasticaly increases? This is an important debate because no matter how you look at it, africa is no state of any sort to support anymore wildlife as it is- it can barely support the people let alone the animals.

    This world is not ideal, you have to look at things realistically.

    The indian slavery thing is irrelevant to the debate as far as im concerned as you replied it to a point you thought i was making/indicating, but i wasn't. My point about the survival of species and stuff is the one i just wrote about above.

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